The chairman of the Commission for the World Church of the German Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Ludwig Schick of Bamberg, will leave on Whit Monday for a trip to the Philippines. He will stay there for a week.
Until the 11. In June, Bamberg Archbishop Ludwig Schick wants to "get a personal picture of the current tense political situation and express solidarity with the Church in the social conflicts," according to an announcement by the German Bishops' Conference in Bonn on Friday. The country is estimated to be home to nearly 90 million Catholics.
With his visit, Schick intended to "support the commitment of the local church to overcoming the climate of violence and killing that prevails in many places," it said. The archbishop will meet relatives of victims of the "war on drugs" and celebrate a church service with them. In addition, the "positive examples of Christian-Muslim dialogue on the path of overcoming conflict without violence should be appreciated".
Program points of the trip
Schick's agenda includes meetings with diplomats and representatives of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. In a poor neighborhood of the capital Manila, the delegation will meet people who are economically and socially marginalized. A focus of the trip is also reportedly contacts with organizations involved in social development, human rights and environmental protection.
"Possibilities and obstacles for cooperation between state, church and civil society actors in development cooperation, for example in crisis preparedness in the field of global warming, will be explored," it said. In addition, the rights of mine workers and the ecological problems in the areas particularly affected by raw material extraction are to be discussed.
Renewed riots in the Philippines
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte recently imposed martial law on the island group of Mindanao. Government troops are currently engaged in bloody battles with Islamist rebels. According to human rights activists, more than 8,000 people have been killed in the so-called war on drugs since the president took office.000 alleged drug criminals shot dead in the street. Sharp criticism of it had also come from the church.
Meanwhile, in the southern Philippine city of Marawi, dozens more residents have fled fighting between Muslim extremists and Philippine forces. As the online portal "Phil Star" reported, citing army circles, a "humanitarian corridor" had been established for several hours, as well as a unilateral ceasefire declared. This allowed Muslim and Christian aid workers to bring at least 60 civilians to safety on Sunday.